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Ultimate Guide to Africa's Best Living Spots: Perfect for Retirees, Families & Young Adults

Thinking about packing your bags for a life-changing move? Africa might just be the place you're looking for! With its breathtaking landscapes, rich cultures, and rapidly growing cities, it's no wonder more and more people are calling it home.

Tobi Miles
April 4, 2024
Ultimate Guide to Africa's Best Living Spots: Perfect for Retirees, Families & Young Adults

From the bustling streets of Nairobi to the serene beaches of Mauritius, there's a spot for every lifestyle. Let's dive into some of the best places to live in Africa, where you can find a perfect mix of adventure, peace, and opportunity.

Key Takeaways

  • Diverse Choices Across Africa: Whether you're seeking urban excitement, serene landscapes, or cultural richness, cities like Nairobi, Cape Town, Marrakech, Mauritius, Accra, and Mahe Island offer unique living experiences tailored to different lifestyles including retirees, young adults, and families.
  • Climate and Lifestyle: These locations offer a range of climates from tropical to Mediterranean, catering to preferences for warm weather and outdoor activities, further enhancing the quality of life and happiness of residents.
  • Cost of Living and Safety: Considerations like cost of living and safety are adequately addressed, with places like Mauritius and Mahe Island known for high standards of living and safety, whereas cities like Nairobi and Accra offer affordability without compromising quality.
  • Cultural and Recreational Opportunities: Rich in cultural festivities, outdoor adventures, and community engagement, each destination provides unique opportunities for residents to immerse themselves in local traditions, nature, and social scenes.
  • Family and Education: For families, these destinations offer international schooling options and numerous kid-friendly activities, ensuring a seamless transition for children and a balanced family life.
  • Gender and Employment Opportunities: Progressive attitudes toward gender and good job prospects, particularly in tourism, technology, and creative industries, contribute to the attractiveness of these African locales for potential movers.

Nairobi, Kenya

Nairobi, Kenya

For Retirees:

  • Nairobi's serene suburbs like Karen and Langata offer a tranquil environment, perfect for those looking to enjoy their retirement in peace. The weather is mostly mild, and healthcare services are among the best in the region.

For Young Adults:

  • If you’re bursting with energy and looking for an adrenaline rush, Nairobi is a hub for startups and vibrant nightlife. Areas like Westlands and Kilimani are buzzing with opportunities for networking, entrepreneurship, and socializing.

For Families:

  • With a variety of international schools and safe residential areas like Gigiri and Muthaiga, Nairobi caters well to the needs of families. There are ample parks and nature reserves for weekend outings, making it a balanced choice for family life.

Cape Town, South Africa

For Those Seeking Great Weather:

  • Cape Town boasts a Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters - perfect for those who love the sun. The proximity to both the beach and mountain trails offers a unique lifestyle that’s hard to beat.

For Adventure Seekers:

  • From hiking up Table Mountain to surfing in Muizenberg, Cape Town is a playground for adventure enthusiasts. The city’s natural beauty encourages an active and outdoors lifestyle.

Marrakech, Morocco

For Culture Lovers:

  • Drenched in history and culture, Marrakech offers a feast for the senses. The city is famous for its bustling souks, historic palaces, and vibrant festivals like the National Folklore Festival. Living here means being constantly surrounded by beauty and history.

For Those Avoiding Crowds:

  • While Marrakech itself can get busy, areas just outside the city, like the Palmeraie, offer a more secluded living experience without losing touch with the city’s vibrant culture.


For a High Standard of Living:

  • Known for its pristine beaches and luxury resorts, Mauritius also offers a high quality of life with excellent healthcare, education, and safety standards. It’s an ideal spot for those looking for a mix of tropical paradise and modern amenities.

For Happiness:

  • Mauritius consistently ranks high in terms of happiness among its residents. The blend of cultures, peaceful living environment, and the welcoming nature of the Mauritian people contribute significantly to the overall happiness of those living there.

Cape Town, South Africa

Heading over to Cape Town, South Africa, you're in for a treat if you're eyeing a spot that's got it all. Whether you're retiring, kickstarting your career, or looking for a family-friendly environment, Cape Town's got a bit of everything for everyone.

For Retirees

  • Weather: Enjoy mild winters and warm summers. It's perfect for anyone looking to escape harsh weather conditions.
  • Activities: From wine tasting in the Cape Winelands to leisurely strolls on the beach, your days will be filled with relaxed and fulfilling activities.
  • Cost of Living: Generally lower than in many Western countries, allowing you to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle.

For Young Adults

  • Vibrant Job Market: Known for its thriving tech and creative industries, finding exciting job opportunities is part of the city's allure.
  • Nightlife and Festivals: With an energetic nightlife and festivals like the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, there's always something happening.
  • Outdoor Adventures: Whether it's hiking up Table Mountain or surfing at Muizenberg, adrenaline-pumping activities are right at your doorstep.

For Families

  • Safe Neighborhoods: Areas like Rondebosch and Claremont are known for their safety and great schools, making them perfect for families.
  • Activities for Kids: From the Two Oceans Aquarium to the numerous parks and beaches, there's no shortage of family-friendly activities.
  • Cultural Exposure: Living in a melting pot of cultures offers a rich experience for kids, fostering inclusivity and diversity from a young age.

Considering Weather

If you love sun-drenched days and mild winters, Cape Town's climate will suit you perfectly. The best time to visit the beaches is during the summer months, from November to February.

Avoiding Crowds

To dodge the tourist rush, consider exploring the city's hidden gems during the off-season. Autumn (March to May) and Spring (September to November) offer pleasant weather with fewer crowds.

Festivals and Activities

Cape Town is bustling with activities and festivals all year round:

  • Kirstenbosch Summer Concerts for outdoor music vibes
  • Cape Town International Film Festival for movie buffs
  • Open Streets Days, where certain roads are closed for pedestrians, cyclists, and skaters to enjoy the city in a unique way

Marrakech, Morocco

Ah, Marrakech! If you're eyeing a move to Africa, this city deserves a spot on your list. Known for its vibrant culture, historic architecture, and bustling marketplaces, there's something here for everyone. But let's dive into why it might just be the perfect place for you, whether you're retiring, looking for new adventures as a young adult, searching for a family-friendly environment, or just about anything else.

For Retirees

  • Weather: First off, the weather is fantastic. Imagine enjoying mild winters and soaking up ample sunshine year-round.
  • Cost of Living: Your savings will thank you. The cost of living is relatively low, making it easier to enjoy life's pleasures without breaking the bank.
  • Leisure and Activities: From leisurely strolls in the Majorelle Garden to exploring the historic Medinas, there's no shortage of ways to fill your days.

For Young Adults

  • Vibrant Job Market: Especially for those in tourism, business, and arts. Marrakech is bustling with opportunities.
  • Nightlife and Social Scene: Fancy a night out? The city's lively bars and clubs promise a great time.
  • Outdoor Adventures: Think camel rides, desert tours, and hiking in the nearby Atlas Mountains.

For Families

  • Safe Neighborhoods: Safety is key, and Marrakech offers secure neighborhoods and a welcoming community.
  • Schools: There are several international schools offering quality education.
  • Activities for Kids: From water parks to cultural experiences, your kids won't have a moment of boredom.

Considering Gender

  • Welcoming to All: Marrakech is generally welcoming to everyone, but it's worth noting that traditional values are prominent. As with any move, understanding and respecting local customs will make for a smoother transition.

Best Weather

  • Spring and Autumn: These seasons offer the most pleasant weather. Warm days and cool nights, perfect for exploring the city or enjoying a rooftop dinner.

Avoiding Crowds

  • Visit During Off-Peak Seasons: Late autumn and early spring are your best bets to avoid tourist crowds while still enjoying good weather.
  • Marrakech International Film Festival: A must for movie buffs.
  • Djemaa El-Fna: Experience this bustling square's entertainers, food vendors, and mesmerizing atmosphere,

Accra, Ghana

Heading over to West Africa, let's dive into why Accra, Ghana, could be your next home sweet home. Accra isn't just a city; it's a vibrant blend of urban sophistication, traditional charm, and a splash of tropical paradise. Whether you're retiring, just starting out, or looking for a family-friendly locale, Accra's got something special for you.

For Retirees

  • Cost of Living: Your retirement fund goes further in Accra. From affordable healthcare to reasonably priced dining and housing options, stretching your dollar, euro, or pound is easier here.
  • Weather: Enjoy warm, sunny days almost year-round. It's perfect for those who prefer sandals over snow boots.
  • Leisure and Activities: Get into gardening with exotic plants, join a local community club, or enjoy serene beach walks at Labadi Beach.

For Young Adults

  • Job Market: With a growing economy, Accra offers opportunities in sectors like technology, services, and hospitality.
  • Nightlife and Social Scene: Accra lights up at night with spots like Osu offering buzzing bars and clubs. Socializing here is an art form.
  • Outdoor Adventures: Try your hand at surfing at Kokrobite Beach or explore the Aburi Gardens for a breath of fresh air.

For Families

  • Kid-Friendly Activities: From educational museum visits to fun times at local parks and beaches, there's no shortage of family outings.
  • Quality Education: International schools offer excellent education, ensuring your kids don't miss a beat transitioning.
  • Safe Neighborhoods: Areas like East Legon are known for their safety, community feel, and accessibility to amenities.

Best Weather

  • Spring and Autumn: Enjoy pleasant weather perfect for outdoor activities without the extreme heat of summer or the occasional cool of winter nights.

Avoiding Crowds

  • Visit in May or September: These months find Accra at its most serene, outside major festivals or holiday seasons.

Festivals and Activities

  • Chale Wote Street Art Festival: An incredible display of culture, art, and performances.
  • Homowo Festival: Experience this unique celebration of harvest with the locals.
  • Outdoor Pursuits: From beach volleyball at Laboma Beach to hiking in the nearby Akwapim Hills, staying active is easy and enjoyable.
  • Housing: Choices range from affordable

Mahe Island, Seychelles

Heading over to the Seychelles, Mahe Island stands out as a slice of paradise that's hard to overlook if you're considering the best places to plant roots in Africa. Whether you're a retiree looking to unwind, a young adult eyeing for adventures, or a family in pursuit of a serene and safe environment, Mahe Island offers a bit of everything for everyone. Let's break it down:

For the Retirees

  • Cost of Living: Though not the cheapest, the quality of life you get is unmatched. With proper planning, you can enjoy your golden years without financial stress.
  • Leisure Activities: Golf courses, spa days, and beach lounging are just the tip of the iceberg.
  • Community: There's an established expat community here making it easier to find friends and activities.

For Young Adults

  • Job Opportunities: The tourism sector is booming. If you've got skills in hospitality, you're in luck.
  • Nightlife and Outdoor Adventures: From vibrant clubs to serene beach parties, plus hiking and diving, boredom is off the menu.
  • Happiness: The island's laid-back lifestyle can significantly boost your happiness and overall quality of life.

For Families

  • Education: International schools offer top-notch education for your kids.
  • Safety: One of the safest places in Africa, you can rest easy knowing your family is in a secure environment.
  • Kid-Friendly Activities: Beach days, nature hikes, and cultural experiences abound.

Gender Considerations

Mahe is progressive, offering equal opportunities and a safe environment for all genders. You'll find communities and networks supportive of women, men, and LGBTQ+ individuals alike.

Best Weather

  • Aim for May to October. These months offer the best weather – less rain and more sunshine, perfect for exploring the island.

Avoiding Crowds

  • Visiting attractions early in the morning or during off-peak seasons (end of April to October) can help dodge the bulk of tourists.

Festivals and Activities

  • Festivals: Don't miss the Creole Festival, a celebration of Seychellois culture, happening every October.
  • Activities: Whether it’s snorkeling in clear waters, hiking up the Morne Seychellois, or simply enjoying Creole cuisine, there’s always something to do.


So there you have it! Whether you're dreaming of a serene retirement, seeking vibrant opportunities as a young adult, or looking for a safe and enriching environment for your family, Mahe Island in Seychelles ticks all the boxes. With its welcoming expat community, diverse activities, and stunning natural beauty, it's a place that truly caters to everyone. Don't forget to plan your visit between May and October for the best weather and to partake in the unique cultural experiences the island has to offer. Mahe isn't just a destination; it's a lifestyle waiting to embrace you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should consider moving to Mahe Island in Seychelles?

Anyone looking for a picturesque living destination can move to Mahe Island. It caters well to retirees, young adults, and families seeking a high quality of life, job opportunities, safety, and a variety of leisure activities.

What makes Mahe Island appealing to retirees?

Retirees find Mahe Island appealing due to its leisure activities, high quality of life, and a supportive expat community, making it easy to enjoy retirement in a beautiful, serene setting.

Are there job opportunities for young adults on Mahe Island?

Yes, young adults can find ample job opportunities, especially in the tourism sector. Mahe Island also offers a vibrant nightlife and numerous outdoor adventures, making it an exciting place to live and work.

Is Mahe Island a safe destination for families?

Absolutely. Mahe Island is known for its safety, excellent educational institutions, and kid-friendly activities, making it an ideal place for families to settle down.

What activities can residents enjoy on Mahe Island?

Residents can enjoy a variety of activities such as snorkeling, hiking, attending the Creole Festival, and exploring vibrant nightlife, ensuring an engaging lifestyle for people of all ages.

When is the best weather to enjoy Mahe Island?

The best weather on Mahe Island is from May to October, providing residents and visitors with sunny days and a comfortable climate ideal for exploring and enjoying the island.

How can someone avoid the crowds when visiting Mahe Island?

To avoid crowds, plan your visit during the off-peak season or explore lesser-known spots on the island. Traveling outside of major holidays and festivals can also help experience the island’s beauty with fewer people around.

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
April 4, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
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